USA Firefighters from the National Forest Service continue to battle a wildfire in the Leatherwood Wilderness near Big Flat. C. J. Norvell, a spokesperson with the forest service, says the Cap Wildfire, originally reported as being in Stone County near Fifty-Six, is primarily in Searcy and Baxter counties with a small portion in Marion County. The 821 acre fire is 75 percent contained, according to Norvell with no structures or private property threatened by the fire.
Twenty-five firefighters, including a crew of specially trained “hotshots” from the Cherokee National Forest, are fighting the fire with a helicopter flying reconnaissance. The command post for the fire crews is located east of Big Flat in Fifty-six.
Residents near the fire, which is 20 miles northwest of Mountain View and 38 miles south of Mountain Home, may notice smoke, depending on wind conditions.
Mild winter weather, warmer temperatures and windy conditions, which are believed to have contributed to the Cap Wildfire, could spark more blazes, says Norvell.
The fire is bounded on the south by Rand Road, on the north by South Prong Middle Creek and equestrian trails on the east and west sides.
Rand Road is currently closed to all but local traffic. Equestrians with reservations at the Caney Horse Camp, located north of the wildfire, will be escorted by forest service personnel who are advising equestrians planning to ride in the Leatherwood Wilderness to stay north of South Prong Middle Creek for the foreseeable future.